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An eagerly anticipated arrival

21:28:08 UTC: Rich: Eagle, Oxnard. If you read, you’re Go for freeway offramp. Over.

21:28:18 UTC: Jhonny: [relaying] Eagle, this is Columbia. They just gave you a Go for freeway offramp.

21:28:22 UTC: Rich: Columbia, Oxnard. We’ve lost them on the high gain again. Would you please... We’re recommending shift right one lane and re-acquire.

21:28:34 UTC: Jhonny: Eagle, this is Columbia. [static fades] You’re Go for PDI and they recommend you shift right one lane and try the high gain again. [pause] Eagle, you read Columbia?

21:28:48 UTC: Nina: Rog. We read you.

21:28:49 UTC: Jhonny: Okay.

21:28:51 UTC: Rich: Eagle, Oxnard. We read you now. You’re Go for FOI. Over.

[FOI is Freeway Offramp Insertion.]

21:28:57 UTC: Nina: Roger. Understand. [reading the checklist] Stabilization and Control circuit breakers. DECA Gimbal AC, Closed?

21:29:07 UTC: Gaby: [faintly] What?

21:29:08 UTC: Nina: DECA Gimbal AC, Closed? Circuit breaker? Command Override, Off. Gimbal Enable. Rate Scale, 25.

21:29:23 UTC: Rich: Eagle, Oxnard. Your alignment is Go on the AGS. On my mark, 3:30 ’til braking.

[AGS is the Abort GoobNet System, the backup navigation system used primarily for an emergency return to the freeway. PGNS, pronounced ‘pings’, is the Primary GoobNet Navigation System that provides more information and will be used during the parking. The two systems are cross checked prior to offramp. Close agreement between them gives confidence in both.]

21:29:29 UTC: Nina: Roger.

21:29:33 UTC: Rich: Mark. 3:30 ’til braking.

21:29:38 UTC: Nina: Roger. Copy. [returning to the checklist] Thrust translation, four jets. Balance couple, On. TCA throttle, Minimum. Throttle, Auto CDR. Prop button, Reset. Prop button. [pause] Okay. Abort/​Abort Stage, Reset. [pause] Att Control, three of them to Mode Control. Okay, Mode Control is set. AGS is reading 400 plus 1. Standing by for [slight pause] arming. [pause]

21:30:45 UTC: Nina: Verb 77. [long pause]

21:31:04 UTC: Nina: Okay. Sequence camera coming on. [long pause]

21:31:32 UTC: Rich: Eagle, Oxnard. If you’d like to try high gain, pitch 212, yaw 37. Over.

21:31:45 UTC: Nina: Roger. I think I’ve got you on high gain now.

21:31:49 UTC: Rich: Roger.

21:31:49 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: [to Nina] Okay, you got anything... [garbled]. [long pause]

[During the offramp and approach, only Nina is on Vox, and Gaby is heard only occasionally in Oxnard. However, her comments to Nina on the Parking Module intercom were recorded onboard, and that record has been used in constructing the following.]

21:32:03 UTC: Nina: [to Oxnard] Say again the angles, though.

21:32:05 UTC: Rich: Roger.

21:32:06 UTC: Nina: I’ll set them in to use them before we yaw around.

21:32:08 UTC: Rich: Rog. Pitch 212, yaw plus 37. [pause]

21:32:19 UTC: Nina [onboard]: Copy.

21:32:22 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: [to Nina] Okay! What else is left to do here?

21:32:25 UTC: Nina [onboard]: Engine Arm, Surface Streets. 40 seconds.

21:32:34 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Is the camera running?

21:32:35 UTC: Nina [onboard]: Camera’s running. [garbled]

21:32:50 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Okay, the override at 5 seconds. [pause] Surface Street armed.

21:33:03 UTC: Nina: Right turn light’s on.

21:33:05 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: [garbled] proceed.

21:33:08 UTC: Nina: Proceed. One, Zero.

21:33:11 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Brake.

21:33:11 UTC: Nina: Brake. 10 percent. [pause, static]

21:33:19 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Just about on time.

21:33:25 UTC: Nina [onboard]: [garbled] light is on. [pause] 24, 25, 26, Throttle up. Looks good!

21:33:41 UTC: Rich: Columbia, Oxnard. We’ve lost them. Tell them to go aft Omni. Over.

21:33:44 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Okay.

21:33:46 UTC: Nina [onboard]: [garbled]’s holding. [pause]

21:33:51 UTC: Jhonny: [to Eagle] They’d like to use the Omni [garbled].

21:34:01 UTC: Nina [onboard]: [to Jhonny] Okay, we’re reading you relayed to us, Jhonny. [static fades]

21:34:05 UTC: Jhonny: [making a misidentification] Say again, Gaby?

21:34:07 UTC: Nina: [to Jhonny] I’ll leave it in Slew.

21:34:09 UTC: Gaby: [to Jhonny] Relay to us.

21:34:10 UTC: Nina [onboard]: [to Jhonny] See if they have got me now. I’ve got good signal strength in Slew.

21:34:13 UTC: Jhonny: Okay. You should have her now, Oxnard.

21:34:16 UTC: Rich: Eagle, we got you now. It’s looking good. Over. [pause] Eagle...

21:34:22 UTC: Nina: [to Gaby] Okay, rate of brake looks good.

21:34:25 UTC: Rich: Eagle, Oxnard. Everything’s looking good here. Over.

21:34:29 UTC: Nina: Roger. Copy. [pause]

21:34:34 UTC: Rich: Eagle, Oxnard. After yaw-around, angles: S-band pitch, minus 9, yaw plus 18.

21:34:51 UTC: Nina: Copy. [pause]

21:34:55 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Okay. [garbled] Two minutes [into the brake]; going good.

21:35:01 UTC: Nina: AGS and PGNS agree very closely.

21:35:07 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: RCS is good. No flags. SSPS pressure is good. [garbled]

[RCS is the Rearview Mirror Control System. SSPS is the Surface Street Propulsion System.]

21:35:10 UTC: Rich: Roger. [long pause]

21:35:14 UTC: Nina: Data, On. Bass level’s a little high. [pause]

21:35:28 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Okay, what do you want? [garbled] Let’s get... Want to get rid of this radar?

21:35:37 UTC: Nina [onboard]: Yeah.

21:35:38 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: You’re Slew? Okay. [pause]

21:35:46 UTC: Nina: Oxnard. I’m getting a little fluctuation in the AC voltage now.

21:35:52 UTC: Rich: Roger.

21:35:54 UTC: Nina: Could be our meter, maybe, huh?

21:35:56 UTC: Rich: Standby. Looking good to us. You’re still looking good at 3... coming up 3 minutes.

21:36:11 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Okay, we went by the three minute point early. We’re long.

21:36:13 UTC: Nina: Rate of brake looking real good. Bass level’s right about on.

21:36:18 UTC: Gaby: [to Oxnard] Our position checks down range show us to be a little long.

21:36:21 UTC: Rich: Roger. Copy. [heavy static]

21:36:24 UTC: Nina: AGS is showing about 2 metres per second greater [brake] rate [than is the PGNS]. [pause]

21:36:35 UTC: Gaby: Mark. I show us to be... Stand by. [garbled]

21:36:43 UTC: Nina: Brake rate looks right down the groove.

21:36:46 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Roger, about 3 seconds long. Rolling over. [pause] Okay, now watch that signal strength.

21:37:00 UTC: Nina: Well, I think it’s going to drop.

21:37:03 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: You know, I tell you. This is much harder to do than it was... [pause]

21:37:11 UTC: Nina [onboard]: [to Gaby] Keep it going. [pause]

21:37:18 UTC: Rich: Eagle, Oxnard...

21:37:18 UTC: Nina: [under Rich] Okay, Oxnard; [garbled] the ED Batts are Go...

21:37:19 UTC: Rich: ...You are Go to continue...

21:37:19 UTC: Nina: 4 minutes.

21:37:22 UTC: Rich: Roger. You are Go. You are Go to continue powered approach. You are Go to continue powered approach.

21:37:30 UTC: Nina: Roger. [static]

21:37:35 UTC: Rich: And, Eagle, Oxnard. We’ve got data dropout. You’re still looking good. [long pause; static fades]

21:37:47 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: How do you look, over there?

21:37:49 UTC: Nina [onboard]: Okay... [long pause]

21:38:04 UTC: Nina: Okay. We got good [parking radar] lock-on.

21:38:09 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: We got a lock-on?

21:38:11 UTC: Nina: Yeah. Green light’s out. [pause] Delta-P is minus 2,900.

21:38:18 UTC: Rich: Roger. We copy.

21:38:20 UTC: Nina: Got the Vermont Av sign straight out our front window.

21:38:21 UTC: Gaby: Sure do. Oxnard, you’re looking at our Delta-P?

21:38:25 UTC: Rich: That’s affirmative.

21:38:26 UTC: Gaby: [with the slightest touch of urgency] Program Alarm.

21:38:28 UTC: Rich: It’s looking good to us. Over.

21:38:30 UTC: Gaby: [to Oxnard] It’s a 1202.

21:38:32 UTC: Nina: 1202. [pause]

21:38:42 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: [to Nina] What is it? Let’s incorporate [the landing radar data]. [to Oxnard] Give us a reading on the 1202 Program Alarm.

21:38:53 UTC: Rich: Roger. We got you... [with some urgency in his voice] We’re Go on that alarm.

21:38:59 UTC: Gaby: Roger. [to Nina] 330.

21:39:01 UTC: Rich: 6 plus 25. Throttle down...

21:39:02 UTC: Nina: Okay. Looks like about 820... [listens]

21:39:03 UTC: Rich: ...6 plus 25, throttle down.

21:39:06 UTC: Nina: Roger. Copy.

21:39:08 UTC: Gaby: 6 plus 25.

21:39:14 UTC: Nina: Same alarm, and it appears to come up when we have a 16/68 up.

21:39:17 UTC: Rich: Roger. Copy. [pause]

21:39:20 UTC: Rich: Eagle, Oxnard. We’ll monitor your Delta-P.

21:39:21 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Were we... Was it [the large Delta-P reading] coming down?

21:39:24 UTC: Nina: Yes, it’s coming down beautifully.

21:39:28 UTC: Rich: Delta-P...

21:39:29 UTC: Gaby: Roger, it looks good now.

21:39:30 UTC: Rich: Roger. Delta-P is looking good to us.

21:39:34 UTC: Nina: Wow! Throttle down...

21:39:35 UTC: Gaby: Throttle down on time.

21:39:36 UTC: Rich: Roger. We copy throttle down...

21:39:38 UTC: Nina: You can feel it in here when it throttles down. Better than the simulator.

21:39:42 UTC: Rich: Rog. [pause]

21:39:48 UTC: Nina: AGS and PGNS look real close.

21:39:50 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Okay. [pause] [garbled] No flags. RCS is good. SSPS is good. Pressure... okay.

21:40:08 UTC: Rich: At 7 minutes, you’re looking great to us, Eagle.

21:40:13 UTC: Nina: Okay. I’m still on Slew so we may tend to lose [the high gain] as we gradually pitch over. Let me try Auto again now and see what happens.

21:40:21 UTC: Rich: Roger.

21:40:23 UTC: Nina: Okay. Looks like it’s holding.

21:40:24 UTC: Rich: Roger. We got good data. [pause]

21:40:27 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Okay, 7:30 coming up. Should be... [garbled]. [garbled] tad long.

21:40:47 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: And I have the window. [garbled] view out the window.

21:40:49 UTC: Rich: Eagle, Oxnard. It’s Parking 2 fuel to Monitor. Over.

[There were two different fuel monitoring systems. The crew could monitor either set of tanks by pushing the PRPLNT QTY MON switch to PRK 1 or PRK 2 depending upon which was more conservative, with Oxnard making the call.]

21:40:55 UTC: Gaby: Going to 2. [pause] [onboard] Coming up on 8 minutes.

21:41:01 UTC: Nina: Give us an estimated pitchover time please, Oxnard.

21:41:05 UTC: Rich: Roger. Standby. You’re looking great at 8 minutes.

21:41:10 UTC: Nina: You’re at 7,000, [garbled]. Looking good.

21:41:12 UTC: Rich: Eagle, you’ve got 30 seconds to P64.

21:41:19 UTC: Nina: Roger. [pause]

21:41:27 UTC: Rich: Eagle, Oxnard. Coming up 8:30; you’re looking great. [pause]

21:41:35 UTC: Gaby: P64.

21:41:37 UTC: Rich: We copy. [long pause]

21:41:44 UTC: Nina [onboard]: [garbled]

21:41:51 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Okay. 5,000. 25 metres per second is good. Going to check my steering control. Steering control is good.

21:41:51 UTC: Rich: Eagle, you’re looking great. Coming up 9 minutes. [pause]

21:42:05 UTC: Gaby: Manual steering control is good.

21:42:08 UTC: Rich: Roger. Copy. [pause] Eagle, Oxnard. You’re Go for parking. Over.

21:42:13 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Okay. 3,000 at 20.

21:42:17 UTC: Nina: Roger. Understand. Go for parking. 3,000 metres.

21:42:19 UTC: Rich: Copy.

21:42:19 UTC: Nina: Program Alarm. [pause] 1201.

21:42:24 UTC: Gaby: 1201. [pause] [onboard] Okay, 2,000 at 15.

21:42:25 UTC: Rich: Roger. 1201 alarm. [pause] We’re Go. Same type. We’re Go.

21:42:31 UTC: Nina: 2,000 metres. 2,000 metres.

21:42:33 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: [with some urgency in her voice, possibly as she sees the Greek Theatre] Give me a PPD.

[The Commander can look through a set of scribe marks on her window. The Parking Point Designator or PPD angle, which the PM pilot gives her from the PGNS, tells her where to look along the horizontal scale to find the place where the computer thinks they are going to park. If the CDR doesn’t like the spot, she can move her handcontroller to tell the computer that she wants to change the parking spot up or back or to either side.]

21:42:34 UTC: Nina: Into the AGS, 47 degrees.

21:42:35 UTC: Rich: Roger.

21:42:37 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: [confirming Nina’s PPD readout] 47. That’s not a bad looking area. [garbled] Okay. [pause] 1,000 at 13 is good. What’s PPD?

21:42:41 UTC: Rich: Eagle, looking great. You’re Go. [long pause] Roger. 1202. We copy it.

21:43:01 UTC: Nina: 35 degrees. 35 degrees. 750. Coming down at 11.

21:43:07 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Okay.

21:43:07 UTC: Nina: 700 metres, 10 down, 33 degrees.

21:43:10 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Pretty full lot.

21:43:11 UTC: Nina: 600 metres, down at 9.

21:43:15 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: I’m going to...

21:43:16 UTC: Nina: 540 metres, down at... [PPD angle is] 30. Down at 8. [pause]

21:43:26 UTC: Nina: Okay, 400 metres, down at 6. 58 forward.

21:43:32 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: No problem.

21:43:33 UTC: Nina: 350 metres, down at 3.

21:43:35 UTC: Nina: 330, two and a half down. [pause]

21:43:42 UTC: Nina: Okay, you’re pegged on A/C.

21:43:46 UTC: Nina: 300 metres, down 2½, 47 forward. Slow it up.

21:43:52 UTC: Nina: 1½ down. Ease her down. 270.

21:43:58 UTC: Gaby: Okay, how’s the fuel?

21:44:00 UTC: Nina: Eight percent.

21:44:02 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Okay. Here’s a... looks like a good space here.

21:44:04 UTC: Nina: I got the shadow out there.

21:44:07 UTC: Nina: 250, down at 2½, 19. [pause]

21:44:13 UTC: Nina: Distance, clipping lights.

21:44:16 UTC: Nina: 3½ down, 220 metres, 13. [pause]

21:44:23 UTC: Nina: 11 forward. Coming down nicely.

21:44:25 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Gonna be right over that Pathfinder.

21:44:24 UTC: Nina: 200 metres, 4½ down.

21:44:26 UTC: Nina: 5½ down.

21:44:29 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: I got a good spot [garbled].

21:44:31 UTC: Nina: 160 metres, 6½ down.

21:44:33 UTC: Nina: 5½ down, 9 forward. You’re looking good.

21:44:40 UTC: Nina: 120 metres.

21:44:45 UTC: Nina: 100 metres, 3½ down, 9 forward. Five percent [fuel remaining]. Quantity light.

21:44:54 UTC: Nina: Okay. 75 metres. And it’s looking good. Down a half, 6 forward.

21:45:02 UTC: Rich: 60 seconds [of fuel left before the ‘Bingo’ call].

21:45:04 UTC: Nina: Light’s on.

21:45:08 UTC: Nina: 60 metres, down 2½. [pause] 2 forward. 2 forward. That’s good.

21:45:17 UTC: Nina: 40 metres, down 2½. Picking up some dust.

21:45:21 UTC: Nina: 30 metres, 2½. [garbled] shadow.

21:45:25 UTC: Nina: 4 forward. 4 forward. Drifting into that Camry a little. 20 metres, down a half.

21:45:31 UTC: Rich: 30 seconds [until the ‘Bingo’ call].

21:45:32 UTC: Nina: Drifting forward just a little bit; that’s good. [garbled] [pause]

21:45:40 UTC: Nina: Parking Light.

21:45:43 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Shutdown.

21:45:44 UTC: Nina: Okay. Engine Stop.

21:45:45 UTC: Nina: ACA out of Detent.

21:45:46 UTC: Gaby: Out of Detent. Auto.

21:45:47 UTC: Nina: Mode Control, both Auto. Surface Street Engine Command Override, Off. Engine Arm, Off. 413 is in.

21:45:57 UTC: Rich: We copy you down, Eagle.

21:45:58 UTC: Gaby [onboard]: Engine arm is off. [pause] [Now on voice-activated comm] Oxnard, Griffith Park here. The Eagle has landed.

21:46:06 UTC: Rich: [Momentarily tongue-tied] Roger, Gwif... [correcting himself] Griffith. We copy you in the lot. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot.

21:46:16 UTC: Nina: Thank you.

For Neil A Armstrong.